Although the development of oxidative photodynamic therapy (O-PDT) based on reactive oxygen species (ROS) has led to great progress in cancer treatment, tumor hypoxia, cellular adaptation and intrinsic antioxidant defenses are still obstacles at this stage. Fortunately, with the discovery and development of reactive reductive species (RRS) in the PDT process, reductive PDT (R-PDT) is receiving increasing research interest. R-PDT with oxygen-independence is an effective reduction therapy that promises excellent therapeutic efficacy in extremely hypoxic or even anaerobic environments. In the concept, we introduce representative strategies to boost the type-I photosensitizing pathway, and then focus on the most recent R-PDT involving hydrogen radical (H⋅) and the single electron transfer (SET) process.
Keywords: hydrogen radicals ⋅ photodynamic therapy ⋅ photoredox catalysis ⋅ reactive reductive species ⋅ tumor hypoxia.
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